Our View: House of Representatives chokes funding for Planned Parenthood

DKS Editors

The House of Representatives approved a bill Saturday afternoon that could change the lives of college students, women particularly, forever.

The approved bill, which won 235 to 189, will cut $60 billion of government spending and completely ban federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Let’s look at the facts. Planned Parenthood has over 800 facilities all over the United States providing cheap or free preventative, often life-saving care for women and families of all ages. Planned Parenthood provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning counseling, birth control, HIV testing and more vital services that so many adults and teenagers alike desperately need.

According to the Planned Parenthood website, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide almost one million life-saving screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams, while its health centers provide contraceptive methods for nearly 2.5 million patients and four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated to sexual and reproductive health research and public education, the contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood facilities helped women avoid 973,000 unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 433,000 unplanned births and 406,000 abortions. Without the vital services and counseling offered by family planning centers sponsored by Planned Parenthood, abortions and unplanned pregnancies in the United States will be one-third higher.

Planned Parenthood is able to provide life-saving services to women and families through Title X, part of the Public Health Service Act, the only federal program devoted to family planning. However, many in Congress are trying to cut Title X funding as soon as legislatively possible.

“Right on their front page Planned Parenthood teaches kids how to use condoms!” Indiana Representative Mike Pence shouted during the House of Representative’s hearing about the bill. “Why should a kid know how to put a rubber on his penis unless the organization is promoting sexual intercourse among young, nubile teens?”

Because, Representative Pence, teaching a kid how to “put a rubber on his penis” can save some woman from experiencing an abortion in the future.

This bill was passed by the House of Representatives, but is waiting for the Senate’s decision. Planned Parenthood is a vital source of health care for so many Americans that absolutely need help. So many claimed by cervical cancer, breast cancer and HIV would be alive today if they’d taken the time to get a free exam at a Planned Parenthood center.

If the representatives in the House are so concerned with halting the practice of abortion in this country, then why are they cutting funds to one of the most widespread and inexpensive options for obtaining birth control?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.